Krankenstein review by Krank

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (62 votes)
Krank: Krankenstein

Price paid: $ 1699

Purchased from: Musician's Friend/Guitar Center

Sound — 9
I play through a number of guitars including: a Gibson SG with an Angus Young signature pickup in the bridge position, a Jackson DKMG with active EMG 81-85's and a turbo charger, a Dean Dime-O-Flame with a Dimebucker in the bridge position, an Ibanez 7-string, and a Highway 1 American Stratocaster. One thing I noticed about this amp is that it brings out subtle nuances in every guitar played through it that make it truly sound unique. Before I had this amp I played through a Peavey Valve-king and a DigiTech Metal Master pedal and every guitar sounded a little bland in comparison. The clean channel is interesting in that it is really chimey and bright (kind of like a Fender Twin), but it breaks up a little. It gives a good Texas-Blues kind of sound. The dirty channel is really where this amp shines. I can turn the gain up to about 5 (12 o'clock) and it gives the perfect amount of saturation for classic rock a la The Who, Led Zeppelin, etc. Turn the gain knob to about 7 or 8 (around 3 o'clock) and that puts the gain into the metal range. What's truly amazing about this amp is the kinds of gain/distortion you can get through the different relationships of the Gain master knob and the overall master volume knob. For example, if the gain is at about 8 and you put the Gain master at about 1 to 2 and the overall master at 5 you get a very crunchy sounding gain. However, the more you turn the gain master up the more fullness and bassiness is added. On top of this you have a sweep control with adds more power to the bass/mids/treble section depending on what you have it turned to. Another great feature is the active effects loop. I run my modulation effects it as well as my Boss 7-band graphic Equalizer. I use the equalizer to get my metal tone and the boost knob really helps the tone really cut through and mix better with the distortion. Because of this I can get any number of different sounds and can adjust every little detail of my sound as I please. The only problem with this is that it is a little overwhelming at first but the more you use the amp the better it sounds. I gave the sound an 8 because the clean channel is a little lacking and while the dirty channel is amazing it could always be better.

Overall Impression — 8
I play anything from Blues to Rock to Metal and Death Metal. I can get any sound I want from this amp that I can think of and am very pleased with it. I've been playing for about 9 years and this is by far the best amp I've played through. I also have a Fender Twin (Red Knobs version), and a Line 6 Flextone III. The pedals I play through on my SKB pedal board are: MXR Noise Gate, MXR EVH Phase 90, Ibanez Tube Screamer reissue, a DOD Flanger, a Boss Phase Shifter, a DigiTech Whammy, a Boss Digidelay DD-7, and an Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah. I chose this amp because I was tired of getting my distortion from a pedal and I wanted an amp that could go beyond my expectations in terms of gain, tone, and volume. Another reason I chose this amp is because it was endorsed by Dimebag himself (his picture is on it, pretty cool...but anyway) and I had heard it in use while watching Metalocalypse. If it was stolen I would definitely get another one. The only things I wish it had were extra foot-switchable options beside just the channel and master switches. Overall, if you want an amp that is easy to operate, can dish out more than enough brutal distortion, and has great tone shaping features this amp is for you.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've had this amp for about 5 or 6 months now and this amp seems very durable. I have traveled with it many times and it has never broken. However I can't really comment on this too much as I have never gigged with it. I would imagine that it can stand extensive gigging but I would buy an amp cover/carry case just in case. I gave it an 8 because of this.

Features — 7
This is the updated version of the original Krankenstein tube head. It is 120 Watts and has an upgraded 6550 power section. It has two channels (Clean and Dirty) with a dedicated master volume knob, a master presence knob and an active effects loop. The dirty channel has 2 Master volumes that are foot-switchable. It also has a sweep control knob on the dirty channel which gives more equalization control. It comes with a foot switch. I have this head matched with a Marshall 1960 4x12 cabinet. I gave it an 7 in features because it would be nice if the effects loop was switchable and it also doesn't have reverb.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    People should calm down. And tone is personal preference. If somebody doesn't like the tone it's his opinion. And people here are too Dimefanboys. He was a good guitarist but now you're making him a god. You don't have to get pissed if somebody doesn't like Dime's tone or playing. You are not Dimebag and you don't know how he would feel so don't defend him as if he was your dad. And I think many people started regarding him as a guitar god because of he died. Same with Cliff Burton. He is one of my favorite bassists but not the best of all time. And I also think that calling people that you don't know gay isn't very kind. You wouldn't say it if you were talking face to face. People should grow up!
    Just got my hands on an original Krankenstein. Once I've had more time with it I'll definitely post a review. One thing I've noticed is the Kleen channel isn't as bad some make it out to be.
    First off, I'm a HUGE fan of dime, pantera is my favorite band to this day and I jam them daily. That being said, this amp is OK. I bought my head used for $700 at guitar center. Sounds good, gets good metal tones and alright cleans, my digitech RP1000 got a better tone thru the effects loop though. I use a dean cemetery gates razorback and a washburn dime 333. It broke about a month after I bought it, I could NEVER GET AHOLD OF KRANK! I called, emailed, left messages, for two weeks and never got a reply, so i brought it back to guitar center and since they wouldn't warranty amps, I got it refunded. In retrospect, not a good amp for the price, there is much better out there. Just because dime used it doesn't mean the production model is up to his specs. Oh, and Dime IS GOD, but this amp head is not. Have a good day
    Just an FYI, the amps were NOT handwired, as some of the marketing materials indicated. Just pop the chassis and look at the huge PCB. "Hand-made" does not equal "hand-wired."